Simon must've been straight trippin' as the kids today say to make that lecherous remark to Amanda Avila. "In my next life, I'd like to come back as your microphone"? His reference to an act of oral pleasure clearly unrelated to singing pop melodies was inappropriate for TV's 8 pm family hour. Moving on... I heartily agreed with the Brit's praise of Carrie Underwood as a "favorite to win." On the other hand, the judges' approval of Melinda Lira puzzled me. Her voice sounded a little too flat to pull off Celine Dion. Plus, Ms. Lira's hips tended to hunch down unflatteringly during her performance, as if she were poised to go potty. But speaking of hips, check out Nadia Turner's charismatic moves! If Tina Turner and Gladys Knight had a baby, this strong black woman would be the result. While we're talking Turner, Aloha Mischeaux was working some "Proud Mary" legs and Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz hair a mixture of good and bad. Sadly, my early fave Lindsey Cardinale was just OK. And Jessica Sierra's take on Phil Collins was even more boring than listening to Phil Collins; I predict she and Celena Rae won't last long. I also have a prediction for Mikalah Gordon: This sassy 16-year-old Vegas chick is destined to be a gay disco icon. I'm totally text voting for her, Carrie and Nadia on my Cingular celly. My girls are worth splurging the 30 cents on.
Veronica's pal Logan is cute, but odd. What teenage boy quotes Eleanor Roosevelt on his cell phone's voice-mail greeting? On the subject of fun teenage-boy quotes, this one-liner of Meg's ruled: "That guy would flirt with a trash can if it had boobs." Of course, regular readers of this column know I don't usually watch Mars on Tuesdays (and they've e-mailed me ad nauseum to beeyatch about it). I really tuned in because we're between Amazing Races and I wanted to see Alyson Hannigan's guest-star gig. Happily, Aly did not disappoint. She was witchy Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but she practiced good old-fashioned bitchcraft here as Logan's sharp-tongued actress sister, Trina. It was also kicky to see Meg and Veronica dress up "I look like Vanilla Whore Barbie" for that '80s-themed "Total Eclipse of the Heart" dance. This soiree gets props for playing "True" by Spandau Ballet, Veronica dancing with a hot older man and Logan prancing around in his undies like Tom Cruise circa Risky Business. (Nice legs, Jason Dohring!) Then, to top it all off, Veronica's heavy-breathing obscene phone caller turns out to be her MIA mother. Am I in danger of getting hooked? Despite this episode's unnecessarily random Russian mob subplot, the answer just may be... yes.
One Day at a Time Reunion
Once I get past rolling my eyes at the artificial "spontaneity" of the stars' chitchat producers clearly are guiding the conversations off screen I really enjoy these classic-TV reunion specials. Especially since I'm a fan of this 1975-84 sitcom, although I watched it in reruns because I was far too young, even in 1984, to understand the sexual themes. (Y'all know me, I just had to rub that in.) As the child of a thirtysomething, attractive (and redheaded) single mom who lived in an apartment and dated occasionally, it certainly wasn't hard me for to relate to Bonnie Franklin's brood. Especially since I remained pure and virginal even longer than Valerie Bertinelli's cherubic character did. (TMI? Whatever, I'm among friends, right?) As for Mackenzie Phillips, those clips of her looking skinny and emaciated were scary, but she deserves applause for her candor about her troubled past. It was also nice to see Pat Harrington (Schneider!) looking well. Why aren't these folks working more? I don't care if they're "old." I miss them.
What an intriguing twist in the Egyptian murder case. You thought this was a stereotypically oppressive Muslim husband who slayed his unfaithful wife for turning into an American sexual libertine, then it turns out she committed suicide out of guilt and he offers to take a murder rap just to spare her parents shame and grief. Wow. Meanwhile, I probably shouldn't have said what I did last week you know, about not really caring that Lieutenant Bale was shot. Besides facing possible paralysis, this stand-up guy did two good things this week: He peeked out of the closet door a bit with that "I never said I was an expert on marriage" line to Andy and he encouraged Sipowicz to take command of the detective squad. Plus, how cool that the underused Bill Brochtrup had an honest-to-goodness dramatic scene with Franz, complaining of low morale due to all the recent personnel upheaval. (He had a nice line: "I guess I just don't see this place as one big Lego set where people are interchangeable.") You know things are bad when John the ultra-loyal PA is thinking about transferring out of the precinct. So it's awesome that Dennis Franz is becoming the boss what a perfect way to wrap up his tenure on the show. Can't wait for next week's blowout series finale!